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Matinee basketball: FSU hosts Samford

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FSU gets a 2 PM tip this afternoon from the Tuck

NCAA Basketball: Samford at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Samford (7-3) is a dangerous team. They’ve got some dudes. They have three volume shooters who can knock down 3s. They have high major talent with three SEC transfers (though top 50 recruit Justin Coleman from Alabama has to sit out the season).

But they’ve struggled with consistency because they haven’t been able to defend. They like to press to cover up for their lack of size, but they’ve really struggled defending the paint, which is FSU’s strength. If the ‘Noles can beat the press and attack the rim, then everything should be fine.

If the offense struggles, however, this could be a game. Demetrius Denzel-Tyson, a UMass transfer, leads the team at 14.5 ppg and has made a remarkable 54% of his 3s. He’s a big, strong guard, who can score from all three levels.

Sophomore Wyatt Walker is averaging a double-double with 13.7 ppg and 11.6 rpg. At 6-9 he’s their best post threat. The other main big is 6-8 Alex Thompson, an Auburn transfer. Thompson is a true stretch who prefers the perimeter, and has made 40% of his 3s on his way to 11.6 per game.

They’re joined in double figures by junior Christen Cunningham, who has started every game at point guard since stepping on campus. He’s steady, averaging 6.2 assists per game, with nearly a 4:1 assist:turnover ratio.

This will be a great test for Florida State’s defense. It will also be a great test for FSU’s mental strength. They’ve played a lot of games recently, and after this one most of the roster is headed out of Tallahassee for a much needed break.

The game tips at 2 PM and will be broadcast on the ACC Digital Network via Watch ESPN. FSU opened as 28 point favorites, but that was very quickly bet down to 20.